Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Sign Of All That's Wrong With The World

(Originally posted December, 2006).

So, when we were in Cuernavaca, our little retreat center was next to a government (I think) health center. On our side and on their side were beautiful, tall palm trees.

One night we came out from our meeting and realized there was a chain saw going. Over at the doctors', they were cutting down one of the palm trees. A couple of the staff at our place had been watching. They had lopped off the gorgeous top and were cutting it into pieces on the ground. We climbed a roof and watched as they lopped another hunk off the top and cut it to pieces.

Why were they cutting down the tree? One of the CCIDD staff members had checked it out: Apparently, when the palm branches dropped off the top, as palm branches healthily do, they landed on the doctors' expensive, fancy, cars and scratched the paint.

Heaven forbid.

And so, rather than putting up, say, a simple tin-roofed covered parking area, they decided to just CUT DOWN THE TREE.

About 11:30pm, they toppled the trunk. I watched out my 2nd floor window with deep sadness as the proud, thick trunk crashed to the parking lot floor. I fell asleep to the sound of the chain saw ripping through the palm's carcass.


Now, lest you think this is a story about Mexican corruption, let me assure you, this is a story about the sense of entitlement of the rich, wherever they are, including and most especially those in the U.S., to do whatever the hell they damn well please, no matter what the cost, whether it's heavily-watered golf courses in the desert, or dumping toxic waste into people's backyards, or moving companies to where the labor is cheapest and least regulated, or removing the tops of mountains to get to the miniscule amount of ore underneath...or...or...or...

So there.